Friday, July 15, 2016

The Best Of Nice

One of the best cuisines is from Nice, that sun drenched city perched on the southeastern corner of Southern France. It has the best seasonings and spices along with a variety of seafood and vegetables. Blend all these together for an amazing array of main dishes and desserts. This is French cooking with panache.

One of the most satisfying dishes is the salad named after the city, salad Nicoise. This is an easy  yet fancy dish any home chef can whip up.The key ingredient is tuna, and not the typical one in canned in water. It has to be in olive oil or tonno en olio. It makes for a richer flavor with the salad. Fresh tuna is also preferred as well. Hard boiled eggs are another ingredient that add not just flavor but protein.The salad also needs boiled new potatoes along with capers. Adding a burst of freshness is Roma tomatoes along green beans and onions. The dressing is a pert lemon vinaigrette.Some add anchovies for more authenticity but if they're too salty , they can be omitted. Petit farci or stuffed vegetables are another Provencale or Nice dish that's perfect for the summer. This is a combination of different veggies , green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and eggplants that are stuff with a blend of chopped veal,onion, garlic, bouquet garni and herbes de Provence This last is a blend of different herbs and even lavender, a staple in soaps and sachets from the region. The stuffing is partially cooked first  and then put through a mincer before being stuffed inside the veggies. They're browned in a 400 degree oven before being served with tomato puree.

Garlic is a standard in this sunny section of France and the locals make a delicious creamy mayo with it called rouille. It's simply taking three cloves and combing them with two egg yolks and olive oil. The mixture is spiced up by adding two teaspoons of cayenne pepper and a quarter teaspoon of saffron. It's usually served with fish or seafood such as lobster or shrimp but it can also be used for tomatoes or even chicken.Squash is a big part of the Nicoise garden and cooks there use the veggie  at every stage of its' development.They take the delicate squash flowers , dip them in batter and then fry them in butter or olive oil. The batter is a combination of flour, yolks and water along with a tablespoon of olive oil. The whites are beaten to a froth and then added later to it. The flowers are cut along a vein to open them and the pistils are removed. It's a quick but mouth watering fry up. Nicoise home chefs , never ones for waste , add diced zucchini to it to make zucchini fritters. dessert is usually fresh fruit , either, figs , apricots or pears. Adults enjoy an after dinner glass of pastis while les enfants get an ice cream from the local shop.

Nicoise cuisine is the perfect summer cuisine, It bursts with garden fresh veggies and fresh caught seafood.followed by fresh fruit. It is tres belle et tres delicieux.

For all the people of Nice, stay strong stay brave. You are an inspiration to the world right now.

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